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Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Pilgrim Bookshop in Brooklyn

As the Thanksgiving Day holiday is upon us in America, where celebratory gatherings and dinners take place in honor of the pilgrims' first Thanksgiving feast, here's a (tenuous at best) pilgrim-themed piece of book trade ephemera for the occasion.


Well, this was as close as I could get to something Thanksgiving related--a blotter for a book shop with the name "Pilgrim." Were it located in Plymouth, Massachusetts, it would add a degree more of appropriateness.

However, this book shop appears to be in Brooklyn, according to the dealer who sold me the card, as well as a google map search on the address. Brooklyn is the only place I've been able to locate an intersection with the two street names indicated on the blotter. Locating any other details about this book shop has hit a dead end. These pilgrims seem to have vanished without a trace.

All I have is what's on this roughly 3-by-6-inch blotter, which dates about 1930s. October 2nd was the grand opening of the book shop, which also billed itself as a real circulating library. Why the real modifier, I don't know. Were there pretenders in the circulating library business? In addition to the library, Pilgrim Bookshop was to sell new and used books (indicated by their purchasing wants), as well as magazines, greeting cards, and stationery.

Without any evidence on the Internet of their existence--no references from any source--I wonder if they made it to their own opening? Did it become a neighborhood fixture for awhile? Did the literati and casual shoppers gather there? Maybe I'll find a clue someday and update this.

To all of you gathered across America today with family friends and a table full of turkey, dressing, cranberries, and pumpkin pie (among many other favorite foods) we enjoy in honor of the first Thanksgiving feast...

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

The First Thanksgiving 1621, by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris

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